Andy Bey – 1974 – Experience And Judgment
Classic album of wicked funky deep jazz vocals!
Andy Bey is well known through his association with saxophonist Gary Bartz – his mellifluous barritone graces several of Bartz’ most sought after LPs from the early 70s – but it’s on this solo album that he really shines the brightest!
Criminally overlooked by academics, critics and purists who refuse to listening to anything outside of conventional jazz vernacular, Andy Bey’s delivery on Experience and Judgment goes beyond anything he previously committed to tape, revealing a spiritual side that’s punched up and supported by a jazz-funk ensemble. The album’s opener “Celestial Blues” finds Bey delivering lines that wouldn’t be out of place on Bill Withers records from this era, and the remainder of the album sounds similar to the works of such contemporaries as Roy Ayers and Gil Scott-Heron. It’s soul soothing music that’s been played with great reverence by the rare soul and funk community for years and rightly so, as Bey captures the essence of the soul world brilliantly, and fuses it into something that is uniquely his own.
These are real songs delivered in a unique and creative style with an early 70s indy label deep jazz feel!
A1 Celestial Blues 3:20
A2 Experience 2:58
A3 Judgement 3:00
A4 I Know This Love Can’t Be Wrong 3:15
A5 Hibiscus 4:58
A6 You Should’ve Seen the Way 2:30
B1 Tune Up 4:11
B2 Rosemary Blue 3:29
B3 Being Uptight 3:12
B4 A Place Where Love Is 4:40
B5 Trust Us to Find the Way 2:43
B6 The Power of My Mind 2:58
Andy Bey’s only album from the 70’s is probably his masterpiece in a career that wasn’t very prolific along the years. He sang on Stanley Clarke’s first incarnation (the lovely “Children of Forever“) and on the best Gary Bartz couple of albums (“Taifa” and “Uhuru“), where his voice is on extraordinary shape. In fact, only a year have passed since those two albums were recorded and for several reasons “Experience and Judgement” is the magnificent sequel to that marvellous cosmic soul inside those albums. “Celestial Blues” is again here, in a more sober version but we truly miss the wonderful hand percussion on the Bartz album. Nevertheless is great too.
There’s nothing more we could say about the idiosyncratic and fascinating voice of Andy Bey. His operatic baritone flavour is spine-chilling and the music is just uplifting, near the best cosmic soul ever recorded (Lonnie Liston Smith, Minnie Riperton, Billy Paul, Spacek). The album is full of cheerful jazz-funk rhythms, moogs travelling through light, tasty bass, synthesizers and other delicious things from the typical 70’s production. Atlantic classic for sure! (antonbildern Rate your Music)
Andy Bey is one of the most criminally underrated jazz singers and musicians, who has excelled in each and every style he has attempted over his 40-plus-year career. From his work with the Bey Sisters to memorable collaborations with Horace Silver, Gary Bartz, Duke Pearson and many others, that spellbinding voice has actually improved with time. Fans of Bey’s two fabulous “comeback” albums “Ballads Blues & Bey” and “Shades Of Bey” shouldn’t approach this expecting anything similar. This is 1974, pure 1974, with a spacy jazz-funk orientation with period “Search your mind, know your spirit, universal love, get to the essence of life”-type lyrics. This record has long been prized by many in the DJ/rare groove community and is a notorious source of samples. Although some will find it dated, its quirky charms and righteous intentions will definitely catch the ears of many more. And his singing is as great as ever, proving steely enough to cut right through the electric arrangements replete with loads of Fender Rhodes and early synths. Fans of Gil Scott-Heron and Roy Ayers, step right this way!